Merlin + 7d + Tamron 17-50 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #1
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Merlin + 7d + Tamron 17-50

After 18 hours (yep...i know I'm slow) of balancing my merlin with my new lens, I have come up with some cookbook settings. I thought I would save someone some frustration and post what I got. If you have another setting I would love to hear as well. Here they are:

Dovetail - J
Arc Size - 9.75"
Guide - 0
Stage - -1
Upper Spar Weight - 1 mid,1 finish
Lower Spar - 3 mid, 1 finish

*Again this was Canon 7d with nothing on it but a non-vibrating Tamron 17-50.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #2
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Thanks mate! Exactly the same equipment I'll be using! My Merlin should arrive in couple days. I'll try your setting. Just a quick question though:

1. Lens hood on or off?
2. What else attached on the camera? (battery grip? safety sling?)

Thanks for sharing! :)
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Old May 17th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #3
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I really don't think you'll be successful with the camera strap (I assume that's what you mean by safety sling) attached to the 7D (or any camera) when flying a Merlin. I've never tried it since I started flying mine a month ago and certainly my recommendation, and indeed the Merlin's DVD/instructions, is to take the strap off.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
Thanks mate! Exactly the same equipment I'll be using! My Merlin should arrive in couple days. I'll try your setting. Just a quick question though:

1. Lens hood on or off?
2. What else attached on the camera? (battery grip? safety sling?)

Thanks for sharing! :)

This is the setting for without the lens hood with no strap.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #5
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Thanks will try it. I just got it today can't wait to go home and try it out. This is my first ever steadicam and I'm so pumped, It's like a high school first kiss! LOL

Cheers :)
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Old May 19th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #6
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Ok, tried it.. seems to balance well.. but as I try to fly it, it likes to pan itself side to side and rocks slightly up and down..

Are you having the same issue? Or is this just because I need more practice?

How do you know when you got the balance right? I always see some rocking movement somehow on merlin.. :(
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Old May 19th, 2010, 09:57 AM   #7
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Yes, it still bobs up and down a tiny bit but it was my first time out with the new setup so it yielded acceptable results. Make changes and let me know what you get. I thought it was a very good place to start. I know what you mean about the Merlin not seeming just right. I have been flying it consistently for the past 3 years and still feel that way but when it locks in it makes the headache so worth it.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #8
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Okay.. this is what works better for me:

dovetail: O
arc size: 305mm
stage: +1.5
guide: 10
weight: as above

Let me know what you think.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #9
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Thanks! It will be a few days but I will let you know. I have to find something to measure mm's. :) jk
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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Forgot to mention, this was with lens hood on. I found it bobs much less and the drop test is much slower. Done a few test around the house and it seems to be working well. Pretty happy with this setup. :)
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:19 AM   #11
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Johannes,

Ok...I am just getting around to testing your setup. Is this still what you use or have you modified it since?
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #12
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How do you know when you got the balance right?
It's very hard to say what it's like, but when it's right, it's right & you just know it. I know that's ambiguous at best but it's about all I can offer. Basically it just feels solid and doesn't dance around on top of the gimbal. At least in my experience it almost feels like the weight of the camera is pressing down into the middle of your hand and not more to the top of it. This might make sense only to me, but that's how it feels when it's right.

If you're getting a lot of bobbing up and down or side to side, either the setup is wrong or you're not operating it correctly, that's just not how the Merlin feels when it's right.

Something else to consider with these photo zoom lenses is that when you change focal length or focus, the weight distribution is going to change making it difficult to balance. It's a big can of worms and I wish you luck in getting it figured out.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
Okay.. this is what works better for me:

dovetail: O
arc size: 305mm
stage: +1.5
guide: 10
weight: as above

Let me know what you think.
Great settings Johannes! I like them better than mine and thanks for the tip on the lens hood. I modified it slightly for my taste.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #14
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I have some new settings for you Johannes . I felt that the 7d needed just a little more weight so I added a Bogen quick-release plate and a little Gaffer Tape between to keep the plate from turning. The settings are below.

Dovetail - M
Arc Size - 14.25"
Guide - 3
Stage - +1
Upper Spar Weight - 1 mid,1 finish
Lower Spar - 3 mid, 1 finish
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